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The “War against the Indigenous” – inner and outer realities

At a time when politics seems for a moment to be turning away from the politics of Wounded Leaders we have a moment of hope with a political leader who seems to be congruent and authentic – i.e. not a Wounded Leader. Will he have enough political ideas to embrace the new contexts of the future? That remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I invite you to an evening about Wounded Leaders at 18:45 on Friday 18 September 2015 in London (Chancery Lane). Details here. It’s a special workshop for Self & Society magazine (Journal of the Association of Humanistic Psychology)  subtitled: “how hyper-rationality and empathy-deficit creates an inner “War against the Indigenous” and forces the politicisation of psychotherapy”

I will invite the audience also to connect to the Indigenous part of themselves that colonial Britain has been at war with, trying to stamp it out externally and internally. Externally, it has been particularly successful – look what happened in Tasmania. Internally, the hyper-rational culture has us at war with ourselves, especially if we have been boarders.

Britain grooms its political elite by means of privileged abandonment in childhood, but the boarding habit is so normalised that, like fish that don’t notice water, we ignore how extraordinary it is to foreigners, how traumatic to children, how regressive for society. Institutionalised as the ‘Independent System,’ favourably polarised with state provision, it blinds us by a trap baited with ‘parental choice.’ But normalisation is a powerful and often overlooked defence mechanism that operates on a systemic, rather than individual, level. Psychotherapy can get bogged down in the myth of individualism, running from the political to hide in the private, morbidly afraid of generalisations, systemic perspectives, national characteristics. This affects how we see our clients, and, in a class-ridden society like Britain, such attitudes court irresponsibility.

But we still have our bodies, and our choice is to really live in them.

I hope to see you there.


  1. Dear Nick, Is it possible for you to e-mail me a copy of this talk? I was not able to attend.

    regards, Henry

    Comment by Henry Lawson on 22/09/2015 at 6:05 pm
  2. Sorry, Henry – I didn’t have a text. But you may like to see my upcoming article ‘Odd Bedfellows’ in forthcoming Self & Society magazine – worth subscribing to.

    Comment by Nick Duffell on 24/09/2015 at 9:43 am

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